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Doctor Who: The Claws Of Axos- Special Edition DVD Review

Doctor Who- The Claws Of Axos- Special Edition DVD

“The Claws Of Axos” is a yawner.

The plot: The Third Doctor, Jo Grant, the Brigadier and U.N.I.T. investigate an alien ship that has landed on Earth without warning. At first, the aliens (known as the Axons) appear peaceful and friendly as they claim they are searching for energy. They even offer up a gift called Axonite. As it turns out, however, the Axons (who can shapeshift) are nothing more than devious aliens who want to drain Earth of its energy. Additionally, their “present” (the Axonites) is actually an energy absorber. To make matters more troublesome for the Doctor, The Master is on board the Axons ship. Why is The Master there? Will he help the Doctor in the battle against the Axons?

Much has been said about classic “Doctor Who” appearing dated. Normally, I can look past this matter, but there are times where the poor (or silly) production values are so in your face that you can’t escape it. ‘Axos’ is one of those silly (and silly looking) episodes.

As soon as a drunken homeless man shows up early on (complete with his own goofy music theme), you know you’re going to be in for a long episode. Sadly, it doesn’t get any better as the episode gets progressively cheesier as it goes along. The Axons sexually suggestive shaped ship opening, the Axons gold faced, giant eyed humanoid form, the Axons giant red veined tentacle tree root creature form, and the giant eyeball on board the Axon ship are all more ridiculous than I can even describe. Add in the fact that the plot is pretty standard invasion material and it’s just hard to care for this particular adventure.

Thankfully, there are a few highlights here. Despite the often cheesy f/x and costumes, ‘Axos’ is a pretty ambitious and big adventure. The Axon ship interior is actually pretty unique and interesting. It’s one of the more well designed alien ships in classic Who for sure. The action sequences are also a cut above most here. The grenade in the car sequence and the Axon attack scenes are pretty epic and action-packed considering the budget limitations.

Video/Audio:

‘Axos,’ which is presented in fullscreen, isn’t one of the best looking classic ‘Who’ episodes. The colors are noticeably faded and blurred which doesn’t exactly make for a dazzling viewing experience in this hi-def age.

The Dolby Digital Mono audio track is solid. The silly music, dialogue, and sound f/x are as good as they can probably be.

Extras:
* “Doctor Who” series 7 trailer, Radio Times Listings, photo gallery, info text
* Nearly 27 minutes of deleted and extended scenes. Different takes, directorial cues, and some in between takes footage is included here.
* Commentary by Katy Manning, Richard Franklin and Barry Letts. Manning brings the charm and enthusiasm to this otherwise so-so track. Expect to hear character discussions and some behind-the-scenes information and facts about everything from the f/x to the military.
* “Studio Recording”- A whopping 73 minute studio recording that comes with dialogue and camera movement mess-ups, crew directions, recording breaks, full scene recordings, and more. Whovians should get a kick out of seeing the recording process back in the old days.
* “Directing Who”- Director Michael Ferguson chats about cameras, filming stories, cast and crew, lighting, special f/x, etc.
* “Now And Then”- A look at locations featured in “The Claws Of Axos” at the time of filming the episode and in modern times.
* “Axon Stations!”- The standard making of that features cast and crew interviews, a story about how writers Bob Baker and Dave Martin came to write the script, character inspirations, costume and f/x information, and much more. Better than the usual making of for sure.

Summary: Is “The Claws Of Axos” the type of episode that requires a special edition disc? Absolutely not, but Whovian completists may want to pick this one up nonetheless.

February 12, 2013 - Posted by | DVD review | , , , , , ,

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